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Only a quarter of Missouri voters expected to cast ballots next Tuesday

Based on projections from local elections officials, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is estimating that less than a quarter -- 24 percent -- of Missouri's registered voters will turn out next Tuesday.

In the St. Louis area, the turnout predictions ranged from only 19.26 percent in St. Louis to 25.41 percent in St. Louis County and 27.78 percent in St. Charles County. Even Jefferson County, which has a spirited Democratic primary for county executive, is projecting less than 20 percent of its voters will cast ballots.

Across the state, Kansas City is predicting a turnout of only 10 percent.

The larger projected turnouts are generally all in rural Missouri, where some counties expect half or more of their voters to show up.

Low turnouts in urban areas, coupled with higher ones in GOP-leaning rural Missouri, could be good news for backers of Proposition C, the ballot proposal that in effect asks voters if they want to opt out of the federal health-care changes. Republicans initiated Proposition C, and the measure is supported by various conservative groups, including the Libertarian Party.

Stronger turnouts by Republican-leaning voters could affect local ballot measures -- such as proposed tax hikes or bond issues -- around the state.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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